Changing the political agenda is Delbert Spurlock’s aim — and he’s using Wellington residents to do so.
Spurlock, an Oberlin native, has elicited the help of veterans and others in the community such as mayor Barbara O’Keefe and zoning inspector Morris Furcron to create a short film about Wellington and how valuable veterans are.
“These veterans are being underutilized and unappreciated and we want the people of Iowa to ask the questions out there to get to the bottom of it and force the candidates to address those issues,” Spurlock said.
The ultimate goal is to have the 12-minute movie grab attention on the Internet and air on public service TV in Iowa. The state is the first in the nation to have a chance to show support for presidential candidates.
Also assisting Spurlock is Scott Spears, a producer and cinematographer, and his wife Christina Paolucci, a multimedia producer and photojournalist.
The two are working together to find the subjects, conduct interviews, and create the movie.
Paolucci said she hopes to have at least seven Wellington residents featured in the film and wants to include veterans from the more recent wars.
Her ideal situation would be to find a veteran who found his or her purpose in society after serving the country and someone who is still looking for purpose. She thinks that will help strengthen the message.
“The folks that are participating in it have very significant knowledge about what’s missing out in our community and how our soldiers can participate in alleviating some of those issues,” Spurlock said.
Spurlock believes veterans can be helpful in all parts of the U.S. but thinks rural areas need them more.
“When people think of Lorain County they don’t think of Wellington and Black River,” he said. “They don’t think about what America is like below Rt. 20. America is like that all the way to Iowa except for cities. They’re in a sense talking for all those people who are below Rt. 20 all the way to Iowa.”
Back in the 1980s, Spurlock was an assistant secretary in the U.S. Army. He helped recruit soldiers for the Persian Gulf War so he feels a special obligation to them.
“They were expected to be citizen-soldiers,” he said. “They weren’t supposed to be just employees of the U.S. government to go off and fight wars. They were trained and built to return to their communities as great citizens. We’re not providing the kind of opportunities that are enabling them to do that.”
Spurlock hopes to release the short film around the second week in September when college students start their fall semesters. He plans to give talks in Iowa using the film to help illustrate his message.
He’s also planning a conference in Iowa and hopes to have it before Veterans Day this year.
Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.
Photos by Kelsey Leyva | Wellington Enterprise Army veteran Emory King talks to Scott Spears about what he thinks veterans can contribute to society.